The tour begins with two major cities in the DC Universe, Metropolis and Gotham City. Which city you start in as a player character is determined by the mentor you choose during character creation (much more on that tomorrow). Superman, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, and Circe will start you in Metropolis. Batman and The Joker will start you in Gotham City.Metropolis lives up to its name. With towering buildings and a futuristic look to most of the city, it will take you days to explore the entire thing. The city is divided into neighborhoods, much like a real city would be. There's Midtown, the Tomorrow District, China Town, Suicide Slums, the Abandoned Shipyards, Glen Morgan Square, and of course that wonderful park with Superman's statue.
To help you learn more about the city, the corporate superhero, Booster Gold, has set up sponsored kiosks across the cities. These kiosks tell you more about the neighborhood, including who you might expect to find there. There are even mission objectives that gain you some experience points for exploration. Many of these locations throughout Metropolis have specific missions tied to them. For example, Sony Online Entertainment told us about a major mission at the Abandoned Shipyards. The mission has Circe taking control of Aquaman and his army. As a villain, you'll fight alongside Aquaman, and as a hero you'll be fighting against him, trying to free him from the mind control. In both cities, there are also "World Bosses" spread around town. These are very high difficulty fights designed for you and a few friends to go take on together, who should provide some nice loot. Over in Gotham, other big landmarks, with many of them named after famous writers and artists in DC Comics history, abound. Gotham Mercy General, the Natural Science Museum, the "Von Gruenwald Tower," Waynetech, the Giordano Botanical Gardens, and more are around. Crime Alley is of course there if you want to try to stop any new Batmans from being born, and there's even an abandoned theme park, "Amusement Mile," which is home to the Joker. While these are the only two major locations, you also have a home base, and many others are available for individual missions, called "Alert Spaces." The home base for heroes is the JLA Watchtower, and the villains have the Hall of Doom. These are expansive bases that serve as launch points for bigger missions. You'll meet many DC characters inside, and can see the armor that you'll eventually receive from your mentor (again, more on that in tomorrow's feature). The Alert Spaces take you all over the DC Universe, and some of them are nearly as large as the main cities, or include multiple sections. These can be non glamorous locations like the sewers underneath Gotham City, but can also include the places you've always wanted to go, like Arkham Asylum and the Batcave. Other Alert Spaces mentioned or shown included Smallville, Gorilla Island, Ooolong, Shadowlands, Hell, Blüdhaven (and yes, that's for a Chemo battle), Area 51, the Australian outback, Ace Chemicals, STAR Labs, and even The Moon. Some of these have other spots inside them, like the Tomb of Isis and Trigon's Lair (Shown in the screenshots here). Most Alert Spaces have you running a specific mission led remotely by Martian Manhunter if you're a hero and Talia Al Ghoul if you're a villain. These are often shared missions with multiple objectives. In addition, some of these spaces will be used for PvP play. Batcave. Giant Penny. 'Nuff Said. Whether it's the spinning globe of the Daily Planet or the Gotham Central Police Department, you're going to be able to see a lot of the world of the DC Universe come early 2011.
Come back tomorrow for everything you could possibly want to know about the Character Creation of DC Universe Online
Disclaimer: Sony Online Entertainment provided transportation, lodging, and food for the trip to their Austin, TX studio for press to spend a day with the game.DC Universe Online comes to PS3 and PC early 2011 What location do you want to go to in the DCU?